Announcing RemoteIE: Test the latest IE on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android

Update 11/12/2014: Windows Phone client preview now available for RemoteApp.

Today, we’re excited to announce the preview availability of RemoteIE via Azure RemoteApp. This is a free service from Microsoft that allows you to run the latest version of Internet Explorer on the Windows 10 Technical Preview from your Windows, Mac OS X, iOS or Android devices, without the need to run a new OS or heavyweight virtual machine on your device. Going forward, this will be the recommended way for developers who are not running Windows 10 to test the latest IE preview versions.

To get started, simply sign up at with your Microsoft account and follow the directions to download the Azure RemoteApp client for your platform.

IE on Mac OS X...
and Windows 7!

Why build RemoteIE?

In June of this year, we announced the IE developer channel as a way for developers to get the latest preview builds of IE. On October 1st, we began releasing the latest IE builds as part of the Windows 10 Technical Preview where it will receive automatic updates through the Windows Insider Program. In addition, we provide virtual machines running stable versions of IE on modern.IE.

We know that developers on Windows 7 want a way to test on the latest builds of IE and that the broader development community is eager to have the latest Internet Explorer available on other platforms. To address these needs comprehensively and efficiently, we built RemoteIE on top of the Azure RemoteApp preview as the latest evolution of the IE dev channel – bringing a single, low friction solution to Windows downlevel clients as well as cross-platform. Our goal is to make the latest IE widely available for testing to all Web developers, to help make the Web just work for everyone.

How RemoteIE works

The Azure RemoteApp preview builds on the Windows Server Remote Desktop Services infrastructure while also leveraging Azure’s global scale and utility-grade reliability. The service, released to preview in May, enables you to run Windows applications on a variety of devices from the Azure cloud.

RemoteIE provides access to the latest Internet Explorer on the Technical Preview via Azure RemoteApp. With RemoteIE, you can test the latest preview version of IE from your Windows, Mac, Android or iOS device. Once you’re set up with the RemoteApp client for your platform, you will be streaming IE from the Azure cloud within seconds.

Going forward, we will update the RemoteIE version in line with the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview as new builds are released publicly.

A few technical considerations:

  • IE will be the only application available, though that includes the F12 Developer tools!
  • RemoteApp requires Windows Server 2012 R2 or newer so no older versions will be available (although you can use the F12 Developer tools to change the compatibility modes).
  • Sessions are limited to conserve server resources. Sessions idle for 10 minutes will be logged out and no session can last more than 60 minutes – you’ll need to start a new session.
  • Performance will not be the same as running IE natively (e.g. no GPU acceleration). If you want to run it natively join the Windows Insiders program to get the Windows 10 Technical Preview or download a VM from modern.IE.
  • RemoteIE will not be able to navigate to local sites or domains behind a firewall by default. Be sure to have a publicly accessible IP address or URL to test with, or consider using a 3rd party tunneling service such as ngrok.
  • Because RemoteIE and Azure RemoteApp are in preview, there may be service interruptions.

Please check the FAQ for answers to other common questions.

Let us know what you think

We’re excited to bring you the RemoteIE preview: a way to test Internet Explorer preview builds on other platforms via Azure RemoteApp. Please take it for a spin and let us know what you think via @IEDevChat or over in the UserVoice forums for Internet Explorer Platform or Azure RemoteApp.

— Anton Molleda (@molant), Program Manager, Internet Explorer

Comments (70)
  1. Ben Shoemate says:

    too good to be true? Where are all the comments on this. This is huge.

  2. fran says:

    not that good. we usually have problems with the crappy versions of IE, the latest ones behaves like the regular more used browsers… so this is almost a nonsense… what about supporting ie7 – ie8 – ie9 ?

  3. CnEY says:

    Yeah… while this could be huge, it's actually not, because the only version of IE being offered via this is the version least relevant to developers – i.e. the version nobody is actually using yet.

    Granted, I imagine the costs for making this available for IE 8 and up would be immense, so I can't exactly blame them for starting out this way, but it would be amazing to see this grow to support more versions.

  4. Is this the new Microsoft? says:

    Thank you! 🙂

  5. Jason says:

    This is utterly useless to me as a developer unless I have access to multiple older versions of IE as well. Also it would be better if it supported localhost development. I don't know a developer out there that devs off live sites. Using third party tools like ngrok don't count either.

    If this is a true tool for developers, then make it one.

  6. MIchael Woodruff says:

    IE doesn't show up. Arrrrgghhhh. Another MS product that doesn't work.

  7. Will S says:

    Seriously this would be WAY more useful to have old releases of IE available this way. Who wants to run a vm for IE7 and such. Its the older browsers that are more often needed (at least for me).

  8. Kenneth Kasajian says:

    I think it'd be cool for the other browser vendors to do something like this as well.   I'm also glad Microsoft is doing this only for the latest version of Internet Explorer.

  9. Daniel says:

    I have to ask. What about Linux? Its one of the platforms were being able to remotely test on Internet Explorer would benefit everyone. Including the users of IE.

  10. Julia says:


  11. Doug says:

    "RemoteIE will not be able to navigate to local sites or domains behind a firewall"

    great, i'm sure developers (the target market) don't really need this

  12. Chris Adams says:

    This is a great idea but the Mac experience is made a lot worse by the horrible UX in the Microsoft Remote Desktop application – not just the clunky design and excessive number of dialogs but also things like using an embedded web view to login which disables copy and paste so you can't use a password manager. Getting a usability expert to look at that app would make Azure so much less painful to use.

  13. Bogdan Gribincea says:

    Please add Linux support…

  14. Blake Petersen says:

    You can always got the VM route for Linux machines. MS provides testing images for most Browser/OS Version Combos.

  15. Rob Koch says:

    If you want to downgrade IE on that, there's a setting to do so on F12 tools in the last tab (icon). Desktop Mode and whatever IE standards you want.

  16. Chris Adams says:

    US East is currently hanging with a “Remote Desktop Service is busy” message:…/Screenshot%202014-11-03%2014.26.20.png

    Earlier US East and now US West, Southeast Asia, etc. are all hanging waiting for the User Profile service:…/Screenshot%202014-11-03%2014.15.35.png

  17. Richard Call says:

    Tip for @Doug and others.

    Developers can proxy localhost to a secret public endpoint using localtunnel.

    This service solves a problem for some people. People who have different problems will continue to complain, irrelevantly. That's the nature of internet comments. That said, If this project proves to be "successful" (I don't know what the metric for success is) I would like to see this extended to older IE browsers. Maybe MS doesn't really want us focusing on support for previous browsers? The whole VM for a browser solution is ridiculous, IMO, so thanks for not doing that again.

  18. Yannick says:

    That's some great news right there!

  19. Ben Bigelow says:

    Nice to have a way to keep my browsing history off my machine. 😛

  20. L.S. says:

    uh, guys, windows phone here? did I buy the right platform?

  21. elektropop says:

    Doesn't work on Plan9. Jokes on you. HAH! XD

  22. No Linux Love... says:

    Microsoft Azure RemoteApp

    Microsoft RemoteApp doesn't work with your device. Please use a supported device.

  23. Nick says:

    Who cares about IE testing. if IE was not by default on windows it will have the same usage as Opera browser…

  24. Marcel says:

    My organization does not support IE officially anymore.

  25. @L.S.: The Windows Phone client doesn't currently support Azure RemoteApp, but will soon, as noted in the following post:…/microsoft-remote-desktop-preview-v8-1-5-update-for-windows-phone-8-1-available-today-for-download.aspx

  26. Paul Topping says:

    I get a script error in Microsoft RemoteApp after I enter my email address and click Continue. It says "'evt_Login_onload' is undefined on Line 10, Character 15 in I removed my real email address.

  27. fredclown says:

    Well, this is kinda cool. It's cool for that fact that you can test without having to install a VM, but really somewhat useless as the modern IE versions aren't usually the ones that developers struggle with. IE6-8 are the major sore spots … or at least 7 and 8 as 6 is pretty well killed off in most places. But hey, if you go through the trouble to get 7 and 8 you might as well throw in 6 too. Include those and I think this announcement would be truly stellar. If you really want to turn heads give us 6-11.

  28. Brian LePore says:

    Need to slow those videos down or something. I feel sick watching them. 🙁

  29. Richard Call says:

    Everyone! Stop targeting IE6 and IE7. Windows XP is dead! Let it rest in peace. You're only enabling a botnet. Repeat after me "no more long tails"

  30. Kenneth Mak says:

    So bad that I cannot use it on Linux.

  31. Vitor Nogueira says:

    Nice! Please add Linux support!

  32. oiaohm says:

    Really I don't see how this is useful.   At least the old virtual machine images what I was working on had remained 100 percent private.   So I did not have to show my bugs to the world.

  33. Jason says:

    How about making IE a standalone application that I could install alongside other IE versions…

  34. Hasan says:

    Configuring an VM is not the problem. The problem is debugging in any version in IE…

  35. patrick says:

    People should care about vendor-lock-in and get rid of IE (and it's IE-Emulate Workarround) or Microsoft should open source IE to get that piece of software working like nearly any other web-standards browsers of 2014.  

    BG: We spend a lot of time for clients that uses Internet Explorer, surprise: the latest Upgrade to Windows 8 of one of our clients breaks a lot of Views of our webapplication.

  36. mike says:

    Why do people even care about ie 7 – 9? Do they also complain that Google doesn't release a standalone Chrome version 20?

  37. /dev/null says:

    Everyone supporting IE below V9 (maybe even 10) is actually harming the internet! Why do you guys want another IE6 disaster is beyond my imagination.

    In fact you are supporting lazy Administrator – they have no reason to update if you keep supporting a browser forever and please don't play the old computer card…

    Really old computers run Win7 quite well (even better than XP) and a Laptop from 2010 probably got TPM 1.2 and thus can even use Bitlocker on Win8…

  38. Luczdf says:

    All the people complaining about olders versions!

    Use the damn F12 dev tools to act as an older browser!

    And while I think stuff should work to some extent in IE8, please stop supporting IE5, 6, 7 with a cute error message.

  39. Terry says:

    Someone smarter than myself can confirm, but for everyone saying 'use F12' to emulate old browsers, I only get success about 35% of the time with this.  There is something with the emulation that doesn't truly emulate old browsers.  Whenever, I have to debug IE8/9 problem, I try emulation first and it usually doesn't reproduce the problem.  Then I have to RDP into a box that still has old browser installed and debug there.

    PS – Meanwhile, I couldn't post comment on this page in Mac Safari 😉

  40. Ed says:

    Tried it. It would crap out on a web page it tries to access where I'm supposed to enter my Microsoft ID. Android edition.

  41. Surya says:

    Damn, I was hoping we would get an easy way to test our sites on older versions of IE. If Microsoft does it's job well, there's no need for me to test on the next version of IE, I code standards.

  42. chas says:

    What better way is there to suck out the best ideas before they can be patented? Make all the devs/ code go through your servers.

  43. Michal says:

    It seems it doesn't work with MS Accounts that have 2FA enabled (two-factor authentication). After entering password and code I get back and password screen. On an account without 2FA it lets me log in without any issue.

  44. Patti says:

    I downloaded a VM from – works great on my Mac! Thanks Microsoft! (never thought I would say something like that again…)

  45. NumbStill says:

    I signed in, picked a region (West Europe, as I am from Israel…), downloaded the application and installed it, got an e-mail a few hours later when I came home. I signed in from my home computer, picked the same region, downloaded the application and installed it – the Internet Explorer icon does not show up. I tried "Refresh". I tried "App invitations". The icon is still not there.

    Daniel, any advice?

  46. Gérard Talbot says:

    @Blake Petersen

    Some Linux people, like me, can not install the VM of IE11.

    IE11 is not the "latest version of Internet Explorer on the Windows 10 Technical Preview".

    Finally, note that Mozilla, Google, Opera all offer Linux versions (stable or beta or even dev. preview) of their browser.


  47. Gérard Talbot says:

    @Blake Petersen

    I meant latest *_preview_* version of IE on the Windows 10 Technical Preview.


  48. By the way says:

    Does IE12 provide for turning Windows 7?

    Main support will be completed in January next year.

    Probably Windows 10 is the autumn of next year. Is it difficult?

  49. Linux dude says:

    Microsoft is so lame.  Gimmie IE 8 and up in Linux or give up

  50. NumbStill says:

    Update – I got the invitation at work. One major issue when testing Israeli (or any international) websites is that I cannot type Hebrew (or other non English) letters, probably because the language or keyboard layout is not active (since the clipboard sharing is also disabled, I cannot even paste the text from my computer). What can be done to overcome this issue?

  51. Nitin says:

    MS Verify email service currently down for setting up a new a/c

    Microsoft account

    There's a temporary problem

    There's a temporary problem with the service. Please try again. If you continue to get this message, try again later.

  52. NumbStill says:

    Also, looks like it does not support cookies(?!).

  53. m.neifer.bag says:

    Hhm, interesting. Worth a look.

  54. Tobi Reif says:

    Having IE available for testing (without a huge VM) is nice, thanks.

    But the problem is that there are so many installed copies of older IEs. Supporting those (with coding and testing) causes a huge waste of time.

    We need you to ensure that every installed copy of IE always gets updated to the latest version (currently IE 11), like Mozilla does with Firefox.

    Only then will we be freed of the huge burden of supporting older versions of IE.

  55. __hAl__ says:

    This is nice for people who have a website and want to test early that their site will work for the new IE browser version as well.

  56. Linux needed says:

    I develop on Linux and jump through hoops to maintain IE support, make it easy for me, support Linux!

  57. Charles Morris [MSFT] says:

    For those of you requesting Linux support, please add your votes on the RemoteApp UserVoice forum here:…/5950717-add-linux-support

  58. Dmitry says:

    What about linux???

  59. Max says:

    Cookies are disabled as is Internet Options. I was able to inspect minor layout issues on my "no cookies" error page, however. Baby steps… baby steps…

  60. Steve Jobs says:

    Linux sucks!

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    however with unsurprising get up to speed you make a relationship that increases you an arrangement from one of the above procedures. This is the reason it is better to send your visitors to your site and not particularly to a branch arrangements page provided for you.

  62. Vincent says:

    It's crap. Netrenderer has been delivering a service for a long time, for the increasingly less developers wanting to support IE.

    It's a plain waste of resources do think whatever means possible to provide users and developers with a browser that nobody wants to use.

    How about you just ONCE built something that is conforming to standards, so people do not have to switch browsers or hack code just because the somanieth crappy version of IE breaks with CSS, HTML, JavaScript of whatever thing Microsoft thought of breaking that time. I have never cried and laught so hard about the "compatibility mode" that broke CSS compatibilty in two different ways per mode on code that was W3C complient and rendered fine in Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Konquerer, or any browser that no one may have heard of that is just W3C complient.

    Stop wasting users, developers and your own time with IE development, either make it complient or stop developing it all the way.

    Developers don't want to be writing extra code just because of your arrogance and users don't want to have a bad web experience because of it.

  63. Trevor says:

    Why does IE continue to use a version number in its name? If IE 11 is really an evergreen browser then why not let the version number fade into the background and just call it IE?

  64. syahh says:

    all good

  65. Brenno says:

    @Trevor: Because auto-updating is hardly guaranteed, see the statistics.

  66. Lars Janssen says:

    Hmmm… I needed to remove all those flashing images from the DOM just so I could read this blog post! As for the RemoteApp preview… 10 minute idle timeout, 60 minute limit? That's going to make it unusable, and no DOM fiddling is going to fix that flaw. 🙁

  67. Kevin Hakanson says: wants you Microsoft Account to sign up, but Microsoft RemoteApp (as part of the Mac version of Microsoft Remote Desktop) finds an organizational account (they have the same email).  I guess I need to figure out how to link them?

  68. Bhalin says:

    I tried to test some of the internal sites we have which are ip restricted. these are accessible through my ip. But when accessed via the remote desktop, it only loads the home page. any links or sub-pages of its throughs an error page. Any ideas why its happening?

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